Opinion: Arteta needs to remove £17.10m-rated Arsenal ace after minimal impact

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With Arsenal struggling in attack, there seems to be a number of positions up for grabs for many of the fringe players of the first-team squad.

However, one position is more hotly-contested than others and that’s out on the right-wing, where Willian and Nicolas Pepe are fighting to stake a place.

The £17.10m-rated Brazilian seems to have impressed Mikel Arteta thus far this season and has come in to replace the Ivorian, who has started just one Premier League this campaign.

However, in my opinion, it’s time the 33-year-old was benched after what has been an abysmal start to life at the Emirates Stadium.

Who should start on the right-wing for Arsenal?

Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe



Signing from Chelsea, there was an expectation that Willian could provide magic in the attacking-third, however, having completed just one take-on so far this year, it’s safe to say he lacks any sort of attacking threat.

His 64-minute appearance on Sunday was eclipsed by the man who replaced him as Pepe went on the offensive and actually attempted to make a difference in the final third.

Despite playing just 26 minutes on Sunday, the 25-year-old whipped in more crosses and had the same number of shots on goal than the two-time Premier League winner.

Willian proved to be on the periphery of proceedings against Villa as he had just 42 touches of the ball, the second-least number of any player who started the game.

The stats make for quite stark reading as it shows just how little effect Willian is having on proceedings.

Pepe has yet to be given a real chance to impresses due down to the fact he is being asked to climb off the bench and influence games late in the second half. Meanwhile, his compatriot’s impact out wide is proving to be minimal and if Arteta is serious about challenging for a Champions League place than the attacker will be as far away from the starting XI as possible.

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